Marvel Studios has done their best to keep us all in the dark. The studio is months away from wrapping up an 11-year, 22-movie narrative with Avengers 4 and after that, we only know about one film–Spider-Man: Far From Home.
At least, that’s all Marvel Studios has officially confirmed. There are, of course, more projects in the works. There will be more movies and, for the first time ever, limited series produced by Marvel Studios for Disney’s upcoming streaming service. When, though, will Marvel officially let us know about them?
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and friends don’t want us to know the future of the MCU because they don’t want us to know which characters have a future. No one’s safety is supposed to be guaranteed in Avengers 4, but we know whose survival odds have increased and which new faces will emerge in Phase 4 (if that’s what it’s called).
Black Widow could be announced soon after Avengers 4 hits theaters next May (or April). To meet its presumed May 1, 2020 release date, BW will need to be in production by June 2019, though cameras could roll before then. Once production starts, the cat’s out of the bag and Marvel Studios might as well drop the announcement. There is a chance the studio could announce their next female-led film in March 2019 to capitalize on Captain Marvel’s momentum.
The Eternals, which probably won’t start production until later next year, may have to wait until Marvel Studios returns to Hall H at San Diego Comic Con next July. Marvel could also let Black Widow be a poorly-kept secret until SDCC as well, but that would really take the wind out of any announcement for that film.
Those who camp out for Marvel Studios’ Hall H presentation will likely be treated to the studio’s slate from 2020 through 2021 or 2022. Marvel has three release dates in 2021–February 12, May 7, November 5. Black Panther 2, for which Ryan Coogler is returning, will either return to February or take Marvel’s usual marquee release date in May.
Whatever 2021 dates don’t go to Black Panther 2 could be assigned to sequels for Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and the Wasp, or new franchises for characters like Nova or Ms. Marvel. If Marvel Studios extends their deal with Sony, then a third Spider-Man film might jump to May 2021, or take one of Marvel’s three 2022 release dates–February 18, May 6, July 29. The 2022 dates (or even the last 2021 date) could feature the first characters from the Disney-Fox deal, though one of them will probably be reserved for Captain Marvel 2.
Kevin Feige may not announce the 2022 films at SDCC. If he does, I don’t expect him to go beyond that. It’s just a hunch, but I think the days of Marvel announcing five years’ worth of movies are behind them. It’s better to announce fewer films so that there can be more announcements at other conventions.
SDCC is not the only convention where Marvel will be present next summer. There is also D23 Expo in August. If Kevin Feige keeps the 2022 (or 2021) portion of Marvel’s slate in his pocket at SDCC, he’ll announce those films at the Anaheim Convention Center. It is possible, however, that SDCC could get all the movie announcements while D23 Expo gets something brand new from Marvel Studios.
There have been multiple reports of Marvel Studios producing limited series for Scarlet Witch, Loki, and a Falcon/Winter Soldier team-up. With the expo being a Disney-owned convention that takes place before the company launches its highly-anticipated direct-to-consumer streaming service late next year, D23 feels like the perfect place to announce a slate of Marvel (and Disney and Star Wars, etc.) shows.
That’s my best, admittedly obvious guess as to what we’ll know and when in 2019. If you expect anything different, be sure to let me know in the comments!